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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Prater

Large Programming: March Book Madness

Updated: Mar 11, 2023


This promotion explores a March Madness for books. It’s a reading competition where books are voted on to see which is the ultimate winner for the month. Voting will correspond to the scheduled dates for the NCAA basketball tournament. This typically runs from mid-March to the first week in April. Due to Spring Break, we will begin our promotion during the first week of march, so that the Book Championship is determine the day of the basketball championship. Students will vote for their favorite books as they go head-to-head for the chance to become this year’s champion! Each Monday, the books with the most votes will advance to the next round. The survey link will be updated by 10 am on Mondays, and students may begin voting. The winner will be announced via announcements the day after the championship and the tournament will be covered with a special mid-week broadcast.

The March Book Madness program is also a Beanstack challenge. If your school uses this resource, it will be a great way to encourage reading during the month of March. Challenge students to read at least two books from the March Madness Reading list between the last day of February and the championship date, which is typically the first week of April. Students can earn an activity badge for voting in March Book Madness at least once and can earn a library badge for reading two of the books.


  • Curated Booklist & Books

  • Bracket Poster & Book Covers

  • Posters for Book Summaries

  • Google Form for Voting

  • Poster for Voting with QR Codes

  • Promotional Items & Giveaway Prizes/Books

  • BeanStack Subscription

  • Physical & Virtual Activity Badges


October – February

  • Curate your booklist & narrow down your booklist to your Sweet 16. Use various methods to determine selection including staff recommendations, award wining booklists like Lone Star, etc., themes based on SEL, and top-down circulations lists in your YA collection. Be sure to focus on diversity in books.

  • Review your book collection and evaluate selections. Explore options to collection books: order, request donations, or choose a new selection based on collection

  • Partner with ELA classes and have them read a chapter of each book beginning in November on First Chapter Fridays. Obtain 1 copy of each book for every ELA teacher to use and/or find YouTube video read alouds of all your tournament books.

  • Outline the social media campaign and coordinate with the broadcast teacher to promote the campaign internally

  • Order promotional items, books for giveaways, and craft supplies for activities.

  • Design promotional materials for the campaign.

  • Create Google Form to be used for voting

  • Create posters with QR codes for voting to be placed throughout the building, so students can vote from their phones or in their ELA classroom

  • Create an annotated lists of the Sweet 16 as a student/teacher resource

  • Create a poster of each book cover and include the annotation, so students that don’t read the book can vote based on the synopsis


  • Decorate school, library, and displays for the event.Construct posters/signage, multi-language if appropriate.Design & Create book displays.


The event will be promoted using the following tools:

  • ELA Classrooms

  • March Madness Display in Library

  • Bulletin Board or Window Display of Brackets that includes the cover of each book

  • Library Webpage

  • School Social Media Account

  • School Webpage in The Latest News section

  • Daily Announcements & Weekly Broadcast


Librarian will need to communicate/collaborate with the ELA prior to the lesson. Curate materials needed for the lesson and provide books or video links to classroom teachers. Create & organize a calendar/spreadsheet to the brackets. Collect additional copies of the book through purchasing or interlibrary loan.Coordinate information & filming the event with the broadcast teacher and/or team.This would also be a great event to include in the yearbook and would need to be coordinated with that teacher/staff as well. The week before the event, set-up displays and posters of the brackets all over the school.Be sure to include a QR code on the posters for the students to use to vote.


Begin the “Tournament” by announcing the books for each bracket in October. This will give teachers time to prepare for First Chapter Fridays to begin in November. You can also encourage/challenge students to read some/all of the books for additional challenges and reading engagement. In February, announce the bracket match-ups and begin the voting during the first week of March to accommodate the week off for Spring Break.

  • Librarian/Broadcast will introduce the challenge the week before it begins.

  • Provide teachers with a copy of each of the books.

  • Students will vote each week on the book they want to win.

  • Students that choose the winning book each week will be eligible for a drawing, which will include books of course.

  • At the end of the competition, any students that pick the champion will go into an additional

  • Recognize the book and winners on the broadcast & school webpage.

  • Post-Assessment questions and a formative assessment will close out the reading portion of the lesson.

Lesson Extension: Students will participate in a real-word competition by reviewing the nomination criteria for the next years Lone Star Reading Nominations. Once they determine a book favorite that meets the criteria, they will nominate that book for next year’s list. create a work of art using a Styrofoam


Students can connect with a popular sports tournament and make it relate to library services and/or reading. They will be introduced to a wide range of novels with diverse content.It can also be a way to boost engagement with your school’s social media accounts and boost participation using a popular teen resource.As we struggle to engage students in activities that are not technology based, we can use this as a tool for engagement and it’s an opportunity to help them “disconnect”.The tournament can be tailored to the specific needs/interests of students on your campus.



Battle of the Books: Literary March Madness

The Chey and Pav Show: Teachers Talking Teaching (Blog: Book Madness – Tournament of Reading)

March Madness: A Library Tournament

TLA: Lone Star Reading List


Book Madness: A Tournament of Books (Displays)

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